The joy of the risen Lord is the sunshine of our Father's love. The joy of Jesus is the hope of eternal happiness. The joy of Jesus is the flame of burning love. Easter is this joy. However, you cannot have joy without sacrifice. That is why Good Friday comes before Easter.
–from the book: Thirsting for God: Daily Meditations
✞ "Those whose hearts are pure are the temples of the Holy Spirit." — St. Lucy
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "True devotion to Our Lady is holy; that is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin, particularly her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual prayer, her universal mortification, her divine purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness and her divine wisdom. These are the ten principal virtues of the most holy Virgin." — St. Louis De Montfort AN EXCERPT FROM True Devotion to Mary
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart." Hebrews 12:3
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Saint Conrad of Parzham
Saint of the Day for April 20
(December 22, 1818 – April 21, 1894)
Saint Conrad of Parzham's Story
Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives.
His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days, this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made his profession in 1852 and was assigned to the friary in Altoetting. That city's shrine to Mary was very popular; at the nearby Capuchin friary there was a lot of work for the porter, a job Conrad held for 41 years.
At first, some of the other friars were jealous that such a young friar held this important job. Conrad's patience and holy life overcame their doubts. As porter, he dealt with many people, obtaining many of the friary supplies and generously providing for the poor who came to the door. He treated them all with the courtesy Francis expected of his followers.
Conrad's helpfulness was sometimes unnerving. Once Father Vincent, seeking quiet to prepare a sermon, went up the belltower of the church. Conrad tracked him down when someone wanting to go to confession specifically requested Father Vincent.
Conrad also developed a special rapport with the children of the area. He enthusiastically promoted the Seraphic Work of Charity, which aided neglected children.
Conrad spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He regularly asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for him and for the many people he included in his prayers. The ever-patient Conrad was canonized in 1934.
As we can see from his life as well as his words, Conrad of Parzham lived a life that attracted others because of a special quality, something Chesterton alluded to when he wrote, "The moment we have a fixed heart we have a free hand." If we want to understand Conrad, we have to know where he fixed his heart. Because he was united to God in prayer, everyone felt at ease in Conrad's presence.
The Liturgical Feast of Saint Conrad of Parzham is April 21.
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John, all the people hurried in amazement toward them in the portico called "Solomon's Portico." When Peter saw this, he addressed the people, "You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence, when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you. Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. For Moses said:
A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you. Everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be cut off from the people.
"Moreover, all the prophets who spoke, from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he said to Abraham, In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed. For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9 R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia. O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia. You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet. R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia. All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Ps 118:24 R. Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 24:35-48
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John, all the people hurried in amazement toward them. (Acts 3:11)
Whatever happened to the man who was healed by Peter? The Book of Acts doesn't say. Maybe the small detail that he "clung" to Peter and John can give us a clue. Having received such a remarkable miracle, this man must have come to faith in Jesus that day. He probably also joined the growing community surrounding the apostles, just as all the other new believers had done. And he likely continued to cling to Peter and John. He must have held a special place in his heart for these two men. How could he not admire their lives and ministry and pay extra attention when they taught? Wouldn't you do the same?
It's a good thing to "cling" to the people who have most helped you along on your spiritual journey. They can be great mentors as you learn to walk with the Lord, since we all have so much to learn. You may be fortunate to have someone in your life like Peter or John, someone who has introduced you to the Lord or helped you grow in your spiritual life. If so, observe how that person walks with the Lord. See how he or she interacts with fellow parishioners, neighbors, or coworkers. Listen especially to how the Spirit might speak to you through that person, and try to follow his or her example.
How about casting your net even wider? Some people cling to a favorite Christian speaker or author by reading their books or listening to their podcasts. A mentor like this doesn't need to live near you—or even in this century! Maybe you feel a special kinship with St. Thérèse of Lisieux or St. Augustine. By befriending them through their stories and getting to know them in their writings, you can receive tremendous guidance and consolation. You can also find yourself stretched and challenged by them.
Jesus cares for you and wants to draw you close to his side. It's incredibly thoughtful, isn't it, that he would send mentors your way—people you can cling to just as this man clung to Peter and John.
"Lord, as I seek to know you more, open my eyes to the spiritual friends you have put in my life."
Psalm 8:2, 5-9 Luke 24:35-48
my2cents: The Word of our Lord said "A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you", among you, and among your family, a prophet arises. Listen to that voice of repentance, that voice that urges us to follow God.
We prayed today "O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth!" How do we pray this with sincerity? There was a man who was healed. He knew how. It came naturally because that is how Jesus came into him. And so to praise the glory of the Lord was natural. Like a starving puppy at the door that becomes so loving and loyal because he was taken in, fed...and loved.
In comes our Lord and if He had doors to open, he would burst them open. But there are no doors with Jesus. He just appears through walls. You can't lock Him out. You can ignore Him but you can't keep Him out. You can lock Him out with sin, but even then He isn't locked out. He busts through walls. He doesn't believe in doors because His love is beyond all comprehension. Don't you wish you could love like that? What if I told you it is possible? To be able to love beyond walls and doors, and to be able to appear and disappear. Physically, well, only a couple of saints have done that walking through walls things, but for the rest, it is in the spirit of God. Our prayers break down walls. Our prayers lead souls to salvation. And how can you cement your prayer life? The Eucharist. Jesus appears, eats, and is gone. We eat with Him and of Him. Where does He go? Easily answered: you tell me where you go after you consume the Holy Eucharist. Where did He go? Where have you taken Him? And did you let Him speak? Did you let Him love and heal through you? Or does it happen like Judas where sadness takes over? For the greater good will be cemented in His body. His love is concrete. I believe so many want to see Jesus, so let's let them see Him.
I am a prophet. And I let Jesus speak through me. I am a beloved child of God. Repeat this. I am loved. I am of the body of Christ. I see Jesus, I see you in my life. And when I don't see you Lord, I feel my heart telling me it is You. I too will proclaim your glorious name and dance and sing for joy. I am a puppy, one who is like D.O.G., always Depending On God and now I am in love with our Master. I will follow You wherever You go. I will trust You will feed me every day. And if you forget, I will still be happy because when you arrive, Your love keeps me going.
And I will spread this joy. Because in our world, death loves attention, its on the news and the kids are taking their lives. As if there is nothing good to live for, or no one good enough to die for other than self? To be so focused on sadness, rather than joy. To be so absorbed by darkness than light. So many souls I wish I could walk them by the hand in faith, but I can't...but I can through Jesus. Pray.
Pray means communicating and being with the Lord. He busts down walls you thought where unbreakable. And He does this through the power of Love. That's why He came back. To say "Now, you are coming with ME!"